Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Amaranth challenge

I sure have harvested lots of the stuff this fall. Several plants ready for harvesting blew over during the Santa Ana winds, chucking lots of their seeds, which sprouted crazily, so I have a second crop. I really want amaranth to work out as a food crop. Who could argue with a plant that grows like a weed, yet grows so beautifully, with almost no water and no care?
Now, what to do with them. I tried cereal awhile back. I roasted the seeds and then ground them up with a mortar and pestle. I didn't get all the seeds, and the cereal was gritty.
Today I decided to give it another try. This time I made sure that all the seeds were crushed, although it sure did take a long time to process. The seeds don't work in the blender and are too small for my grain grinder or my pepper mill, so I am stuck with this hand method for awhile.
While enjoying my pounding meditation, my thoughts drifted to amaranth pancakes with apples. So, I tried mixing up a batter and cooking it in a buttered frying pan. It turned out with the look and texture of a blood clot, but it tasted much better than that. I could eat this again.
After breakfast, I headed to the garden, and stayed there over 5 hours, planting garlic, doing hard labor at the compost bins and helping a friend move a few yards of topsoil. I kept thinking about how unhungry I was, after eating the local breakfast.
I have to figure out more ways to prepare this nice food. This afternoon, the backyard birds were pecking away at the amaranth fronds laid out in piles to dry. They love picking through the leftovers I use as mulch in the kohlrabi bed. There will be plenty for everybody, and much entertainment for the cats.


  1. It was a pleasure to meet you at SCQM. I look forward to reading more about your gardening & locavore efforts.